This marks the 17th straight year that the TLC Community Center has stepped in to provide food for children when school cafeterias are not serving.
TLC leader Angie Odom said the organization started delivering the food back when TLC discovered how important the school lunch program had become as a source of nourishment for needy children, and that those children were suffering during the summer, when schools were on summer vacation.
While the food program has become very important to the poorest of communities, the program does not require the children of their families to fill out a lot of paperwork. That is because the program works through volunteers and donations and takes no tax dollars.
Any child who is at the neighborhood stop is fed, Odom said. There are no questions about whether the child lives in the needy neighborhood or even if the child is receiving school lunches during the rest of the year.
If the kids show up, they are told to join the line, participate in a group prayer and then given a hot meal with sides. There is even a breakfast included for the next morning. On Fridays, the children are given extra food to last through the weekend.
The services will be expanding in West Carter County this summer, Odom said. Areas in that part of the county had been covered by Second Harvest in past summers, but Odom sad TLC will be taking over those routes. Again, there will be no need for the children to fill out any paperwork even though they have not been a part of the TLC effort in the past.
The only time a form has to be filled out is when a parent drives to the TLC center in the Watauga Industrial Park. TLC is happy to provide food at their center, Odom said, but the child must be there before all the food leaves on the different routes at 11:30 a.m.
The Monday-Friday routes includes one that goes from the Watauga Industrial Park to Mountain Hollow Apartments to the intersection of Coal Chute Road and Old State Line Road, to a white church on Long Hollow Road, to River Road, to Still Waters Circle, to Mill Pond Road, to Swimming Pool Road, to Dennis Cove Road, to Bailey Street, to Nave Street and to the intersection of Highway 321 and Dennis Cove Road.
Another route goes from the Watauga Industrial Park to Lynnwood and Lynnridge Apartments, Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency at Arney Hill, South Hills Apartments, Well Street, Lee Apartments, West G Street Apartments, Cottage Avenue, Race Street, Renfro Apartments, Lovers Lane, Fitzsimmons Hill trailer parks, Old Stoney Creek Road and Stoney Creek Apartments on Highway 91 beside Kimbo’s.
Nonperishable food will be delivered to: Amber Apartments in Milligan, Meadowbrook Mobile Home Park and Sunflower Mobile Home Park near the rock quarry in Watauga.
Food will be served at the TLC from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Delivery to the routes begins at 11:30 a.m. Children must be present to receive food at the TLC and forms must be filled out.
The time at each stop should be predictable after the first couple of days, and every effort will be made to keep to that time for the rest of the summer.
The food is given to children only. No adults will be served.
The program begins June 3 and will continue to Aug. 2.